For too many providers, first-time patients fail to become repeat patients. How can we create a system that keeps patients in-network and coming back?
For starters, we need to align our processes with the digital age. Healthcare in particular is characteristically behind the times when it comes to meeting consumer demands. For many healthcare providers, booking follow up visits for patients still relies on three-way phone calls or merely handing the patient a slip of paper with some contact info. Digitizing the care coordination process can fix these issues. Specifically, it can organize and streamline data across in-network providers, while keeping the scheduling process both simple and intuitive.
Where’s the value in smart, digital coordination of patient care?
- Time Savings – Staffers no longer need to spend time on the phone scheduling appointments
- Cost Savings – Fewer hours on the phone means fewer dollars spent on staffing and scheduling
- Patient Follow-Through – Automated reminders help keep patients coming in on time
- Customization – Providers have better control of their individual calendars
- Patient Satisfaction – Easy self-scheduling and access to information makes patients happy
Patients – especially first-time patients – frequently complain about the same issues with their healthcare providers. It’s confusing to identify the right contact for booking an appointment. Convenient appointment times are difficult to find. To schedule an appointment, calls must be made within providers’ office hours (which often conflict with work schedules). When an appointment has to be cancelled and rescheduled, more calls (and headaches) ensue. These frustrations have historically led to a high level of patient drop-off. Patients get annoyed with the process, or they forget to follow-up, and the next visit never actually occurs.
Coordinating in the Cloud
To stem this tide of patient loss (aka outmigration), something must be done. A connected system of providers efficiently sharing information, schedules, and availability with multiple offices simultaneously promotes greater patient access to care. With better access comes better patient engagement, satisfaction, and in increased propensity to stay in-network. Moreover, a searchable inventory of providers – categorized by location, insurance, language, gender and other key differentiators – makes it easier for patients to find the care they need. Before you know it, retention rates begin to climb.
Patients’ individual needs are complex, and their expectations as consumers are high. A sophisticated platform for digital care coordination can manage those needs and expectations in such a way that patients feel happy to come back time and again.
To learn more about how cloud-based scheduling is the key to better care coordination, read our free guide, Redefining Patient Access.